During the past 12 months I’ve traveled through 36 countries, but it wasn’t until the last leg of my trip in Guatemala City that I encountered a place like Zone 3, infamous as the site of the Guatemala City Garbage Dump, the largest landfill in Central America.
In 2009 the Council on Hemispheric Affairs reported that 30,000 squatters lived around the 40-acre Guatemala City Garbage Dump. An estimated 7,000 of them are known as guajeros, or trash-pickers, and they depend solely on what they can glean from the dump to make a living. But in the process of scavenging, they are constantly subjected to toxic chemicals, disease and filth.
From the seventh floor of the Davenport cement plant cooling tower on a sunny morning last week, I was wowed by a panoramic view of the Santa Cruz County coastline and surrounding Coast Dairies property, now proposed as a national monument.
If you need to do some last-minute holiday shopping and you like to shop green, you should visit Grey Bears on Chanticleer Avenue in Santa Cruz. Until my visit earlier this week I didn’t realize what great bargains and good cheer can be found here at the nonprofit operation.
Santa Cruz clothes shoppers who like to buy local and buy green are finding great value in the area’s consignment shops, each with its own style and specialty.
While most folks may choose to shop second-hand to save money, there’s no denying that buying re-sale clothing is a boon to the environment. Even clothes made from natural fibers take an environmental toll with all the dyeing, bleaching, and pesticide use. Approximately 1,500 gallons of water are required just to produce the cotton for one pair of jeans. Cotton production is responsible for 25 percent of all insecticides applied worldwide
With water-conservation ideas generating so much buzz lately, it's worth revisiting an old technology -- the composting toilet -- to see if it might offer new solutions.
Composting toilets have been around for decades, they use little or no water, and they treat toilet wastes on-site for re-use as valuable compost. How have these devices, with their enormous nationwide water-saving potential, fared recently in public acceptance and use by the building sector for residential, public, and commercial spaces?
Two Sundays ago, I set out for the 10th annual Green Festival at the San Francisco Concourse Exhibition Center. Billed as “the nation’s premier sustainability event,” the Green Festival is an extravaganza of organic food, green building, urban farming, solar energy, green jobs, electric cars, and sustainable clothing.